Silva Lieberherr, *1984, agronomist, researcher, activist.
I have been involved in political activities and social justice since I was a teenager. I studied agricultural sciences at the ETH in Zurich, where I learned research methods in natural sciences, applied mathematics and economics. I later did a PhD in Geography at the University of Zurich and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India. For my fieldwork, I closely interacted with farmers and farmer activists in Central India using qualitative research methods. Additionally, through my graduate school, I built a wide worldwide network of researchers that I expand continuously. After my PhD, I started my paid job for the organization “Bread for all” on the issues of resource grabs and corporate capture of global agriculture. This allowed me to continue to work together closely with activists worldwide and spend many weeks and months in the Global South, particularly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cameroon. Together with activists on the ground, we do joint research. This research includes work on the ground to expose, document and eventually change the behavior of corporations and desktop research on these corporations (see research on cases of land grabbing in Sierra Leone or Liberia). It is my utmost goal to bring the realities and the voices of oppressed and marginalized people from the rural Global South here, link them with movements in Switzerland and help to make them heard. My second goal is to expose companies that cause the climate crisis and the people’s hardship. I am part of the group multiwatch that documents human rights violations and environmental destruction caused by companies based in Switzerland. We work closely with people in the Global South, affected concretely and often severely by such practices, and build a joint resistance. As part of multiwatch, I was part of campaigns against the agricultural company Syngenta, against Credit Suisse or Glencore. We work closely with a variety of groups in Switzerland, be it in the context of climate justice, against imperialism or for a just tax system.